St Kitts and Nevis Patriots 143 for 4 (Lewis 65, Fawad 1-11) beat St Lucia Zouks 138 for 9 (de Grandhomme 30, Jordan 4-33, Mir 2-13) by six wickets
For the second night in a row at Warner Park, the first innings batting lineup was shredded apart. Whereas St Kitts & Nevis Patriots were sliced and diced by the spinners of the Amazon Warriors on Saturday night, on this occasion it was the Patriots pace-unit that inflicted maximum damage on the St. Lucia Zouks in a six-wicket win on Sunday evening.
Debutant Akeem Jordan was one of four changes to the Patriots XI and galvanized the bowling unit with a four-wicket haul, including three in the Powerplay, to dismantle the heart of the Zouks batting, the visitors scraping their way to 138 for 9. Patriots navigated their way through a pair of rain stoppages in the chase before knocking off the target with 31 balls to spare following a blistering knock from Evin Lewis.
Akeem the Dream
The 24-year-old fast bowler had a fairy-tale debut. He struck with his third ball when Andre Fletcher cut straight to Fabian Allen at backward point. Jordan followed it up in his next over getting Rahkeem Cornwall to slash to third man. Bowlers rarely bowl three overs in a row at any stage of a T20 match but Carlos Brathwaite's persistence to stick with Jordan was rewarded when Kavem Hodge picked out Kjorn Ottley at deep midwicket with a pull in the fifth to make it 33 for 3.
The recalled Usama Mir then built off Jordan's early breakthroughs, striking with his very first ball in the sixth when Roland Cato's clumsy paddle flick ballooned off a top edge to Rayad Emrit at short fine leg. Emrit got into the act with the ball in the ninth, inducing a top-edged swat from Thisara Perera to Laurie Evans on the ring at point to make it 52 for 5 and from there the Zouks were behind the game.
Colin de Grandhomme did his best to get the Zouks innings back in gear. In the same over that Thisara fell, de Grandhomme struck 16 in three balls off Emrit. But he found the going much tougher against legspinner Usama Mir, eventually falling in a wicket-maiden 12th over skying a drive to Ottley on the cover sweeper rope.
Devon Thomas then took center stage with a pair of sensational catches. The first came on the final ball of the 15th when Darren Sammy was unlucky to be given out off the thigh guard missing a pull down the leg side. But Thomas sold it well with an acrobatic effort supporting the appeal from Sheldon Cottrell.
There was no doubt about the edge off the bat of Kesrick Williams two balls later though. A full ball from Jordan produced the edge that flew to the keeper's right.
Caught wrong-footed, he leaped one-handed to his right to pull off a stunning catch for Jordan's fourth wicket. At 100 for 8, Hardus Viljoen and Obed McCoy did their best to stretch the innings to the full 20 overs.
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Coming back into the lineup after missing Saturday night's loss due to an injury sustained playing football in warm-ups, Lewis tore apart the Zouks attack with five fours and six sixes. But the Zouks had two chances in the first two overs to nip the Lewis knock in the bud, failing on both occasions.
The first opportunity came off his second ball when he had yet to score as the lefty drove hard at Obed McCoy. Cornwall stabbed at a chance high to his left but only managed to parry it to the third man rope. It would have been a regulation catch for a second slip but Sammy opted to stay conservative despite needing to press for wickets. A far easier offering came in the second over. Williams had struck off his second ball getting Thomas to slash to third man and three balls later set a trap for Lewis putting in place a deep square leg. Williams sent down a bouncer that produced a top edge on the attempted pull by Lewis. Kavem Hodge was in perfect position but spilled it badly.
After taking two off the drop to move to six, Lewis hooked the next ball for his first maximum and never looked back. He continued to remind Hodge of his error by belting him for two sixes - the first of which brought up a 26-ball fifty - and two fours off the left-arm spinner in the 11th. Hodge finally got him out off a full toss off the last ball of the over. But by that stage the Patriots needed 21 off nine overs and cantered over the line.